HomeArticlesThis Traditional Nigerian Wedding Is So Beautiful | World Wide Wed | Refinery29
This Traditional Nigerian Wedding Is So Beautiful | World Wide Wed | Refinery29
August 15, 2019
So I was born in Lagos, Nigeria and moved here when I was six months old. My parents kind of raised my brother and I in a Western way. I’m very British, but a British Nigerian on a journey to understand the significance of my Nigerian heritage. I’m a hybrid British, very British very Nigerian. An individual who holds very dearly to my culture and where I’m coming from. And you know to get married in a way that reflects that has always been very important to me. Your marriage is very much a marriage of two families and two families coming together, represented by obviously the two individuals being me and Ruth. Traditions tend to be very, very large. I still do want it to feel like it’s a celebration of our love. I want it to feel personal. I went to school where there was no Nigerians really at all. So being able to introduce a lot of our friends from different cultures to our culture, I’m really looking forward to it. I want them to feel that sense of energy, and fun which we try to have as much of as a couple. I’m looking forward to the fun party. I think for me it’s a celebration and it’s very vibrant, and it’s very kind of beautiful. It’s run very much by master of ceremony, who’s known as the Alaga. There’s one from each family. There’s one from each family and they always go around surrounded by the talking drummer and it’s very much their show, but obviously a show that’s designed to kind of bring the two families together. They kind of perform kind of theatrical functions such as not allowing people to kind of come in until they paid money and basically kind of at various intervals break into song where the talking drummer will be kind of playing along and they’ll be singing songs. The big aspect is the music and the dancing and if you spend a lot of money, you better dance well. Yeah, exactly! If you spend a lot of money on your tradition, you definitely have to dance well. An interesting part of yoruba culture, which is called sprain, where you spray cash on either the bride and the groom, the parents of the bride and the groom. You have your girls, who have got bags to collect the money and so some people can collect a house deposit in spray money. Another thing I’d be looking forward to is food and so I absolutely love food. I think it’s probably important to say that, you know, most Nigerian people the only thing that they will remember is the food. At a traditional is the food. And whether they ate enough. The last thing you want people to be saying about your wedding is that– They were hungry. Well one, that they were hungry, and two the the food wasn’t good. That’s like social suicide basically. The glasses on the guys is not recommended, removed your glasses from your faces. Yes Ayo. Are you ready? The families are represented by a color. So, my family will have a color, Ayo’s family will have a color. And I think I’m really looking forward to, kind of, I guess just seeing a sea of colors and seeing that merge together. But also our own personal outfit. So Ashoke is weaved. The way it works is a couple would wear the same color fabric. To symbolize, I guess, building a new family and togetherness. And then also your girls and your guys would wear traditional Nigerian clothing. I will have around 13 ladies, with whom I am good friends, who will be wearing my lace, I‘ve chosen and my head ties. And for me, I’ll have–I don’t even know how many I have– probably around the same, maybe more. Their functions are to dance, bring lots of money, and to help me lie prostrate on the floor. It’s one of the major acts of the of the ceremony is for me and my brother, and my male cousins, and for my friends to literally lie on the floor prostrate literary on our stomachs, in front of Ruth’s family, directly in front of her parents and all her extended family. Essentially the deal is sealed. And then Ruth is okay to come in and be presented to her side and obviously to my side. And so we’re all dancing, they kind of all like form a circle around me and then yeah, I’m kind of revealed to my groom and the whole audience. I think for me what will be very emotional is when I go to sit with my parents and have them pray for me, because I’m very, I’ve always said, besides Ayo, my parents are my best friends. So I think that’s when it will kind of dawn on me that as much as I am excited about marriage, there’s a feeling of sadness that that season of them kind of being my number one carers is over. Who’s the traditional for? For us, or for family? It’s definitely for the parents. I think you know culturally, the traditional is a bit like a graduation ceremony for the parents, you know and so yeah it’s not about us even though it is about us. In Western culture, we can discount marriage very easily. And there’s that sense, you know, if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out, move on and you get on with life. In Nigerian culture, marriage is seen as such a big thing. Even though I say I’m not that traditional, that aspect of our culture is something I really appreciated. We are proud of our culture while understanding that you can hold where your parents are from and where you’ve been raised, is kind of two sides of the coin. Thanks for watching World Wide Wed. Subscribe to Refinery29 to never miss an episode.